Suhaimi was elected by the exchange's board, which includes representatives of the central bank, the finance ministry and the commerce ministry, the exchange said in a statement.
She is the first woman to chair a major government financial institution in the kingdom, where women are forbidden to drive and are subject to a male guardianship system which in many cases restricts their opportunities to work.
But her appointment to chair the exchange is in line with an ambitious economic and social reform programme announced by the government last year. One of its goals is to develop women's role in the economy and increase their participation in the workforce to 30 percent from 22 percent in coming years.
It is also expected next year to list the shares of national oil giant Saudi Aramco in what could be the world's biggest initial public offer.
While heading the exchange, Suhaimi will keep her post at NCB Capital, an arm of National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia's largest listed bank, an NCB Capital official said.
(Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Additional reporting by Celine Aswad; Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((email@example.com; +9715 6681 7277; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))
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